Chennai: Eviction drive triggers anger

Broadway terminus turns chaotic.

Chennai: Chaos prevailed at Broadway as encroachments near the bus terminus here were evicted on Saturday following a Supreme Court’s order on a public interest litigation filed by ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy.

Alleging they were not clearly informed about the proceedings, hawkers protested the move by Greater Chennai corporation officials and police department. “We have been living here since many generations. Where can we go if they suddenly tell us,,” asked Arumugam, a juice seller.

“We were informed only yesterday. Residents here will be relieved only if we are rehabilitated at Kannagi Nagar, Chemmencherry, and Thoraipakkam,” said Manikandan, president of the vendors association.

The petitioner blamed the police for not taking serious action against the encroachers. “Their indifferent attitude has forced me to take legal action. Despite being allotted other places, they refuse to go, thereby resulting in encroachments,” he said.

“The road is encroached by vendors and is getting narrower every day. Evicting the unauthorized structures here is the need of the hour,” said a corporation official.

Regular commuter P. Saroja said the road had become a bottleneck due to encroachments. “After eviction, new encroachers come in their place and run their shops without license, forcing the government to allot the place,” said a police officer.

(With inputs from Aishwarya Kannan)

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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